Baltimore Orioles Interested In Popular Free Agent Pitcher

The Baltimore Orioles have shown significant interest in free agent relief pitcher Robert Stephenson.

This interest comes in the wake of the Orioles exploring the high-end reliever market, as reported by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

Stephenson's recent performance, particularly with the Tampa Bay Rays, has made him a notable figure on the relief market.

In the 2023 season, he achieved a 2.35 ERA, a 42.9% strikeout rate, and a 5.7% walk rate over 38.1 innings, showcasing a marked improvement in his performance.

Previously, Stephenson had displayed potential with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 and the Colorado Rockies in 2021, but his inconsistency limited his reliability as a bullpen arm.

A notable turnaround in his career occurred after he joined the Rays, where he replaced his slider with a cutter, significantly enhancing his pitching effectiveness.

The Orioles, coming off a 101-win 2023 season, are considering boosting their payroll to add essential components to their team, and Stephenson fits into this strategy​.

Stephenson's overall performance in 2023 was impressive, with a 3.10 ERA, a 0.879 WHIP, and a 77:16 K/BB ratio over 52.1 innings.

This performance has come at a crucial time for the Orioles, who are looking to bolster their bullpen, especially with Felix Bautista likely out for the 2024 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Morosi noted that Baltimore is increasingly interested in Stephenson, and given the rapid movements in the high-leverage reliever market, Stephenson is unlikely to remain a free agent for much longer​.

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